Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

US Embassy New Warden Message 2009-8 Swine Flu

Subject: Warden Notice 2009 – 8

Please circulate the following message without additions or omissions immediately to all American citizens within your area of responsibility.

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Warden Message
May 4, 2009

This Warden Message alerts U.S. citizens to the latest information regarding human cases of 2009-H1N1 influenza, sometimes referred to as swine flu. The Kuwait Ministry of Health, Ports and Frontiers Division, is distributing three-part health surveillance cards to travelers arriving from countries that have reported cases of the H1N1 influenza. Within 72 hours of arrival, travelers are required to report to a designated Ministry of Health clinic to receive a check-up. Currently, some Ministry of Health clinics are requiring travelers to return for a second check-up within seven days of arrival. Failure to meet these requirements could result in a fine or imprisonment. The clinics are listed in Arabic on the back of the health surveillance card. With this card, most taxi drivers or hotel staff should be able to direct travelers to the nearest center. The ministry also has a website at that lists, in Arabic, the centers’ locations and contact infor
mation. One part of the health surveillance card will be kept by the traveler. Currently Kuwaiti authorities are not requiring travelers to turn in their copy of the card. Travelers transiting Kuwait or planning to be in Kuwait less than 72 hours should ask airport authorities for guidance upon arrival.

The Embassy reminds U.S. citizens that most cases of influenza are not 2009-H1N1 Influenza. Any questions or concerns about influenza or other illnesses should be directed to a medical professional. Although the Embassy cannot provide medical advice or provide medical services to the public, a list of hospitals can be found on our website at

For further information about 2009-H1N1 Influenza, including steps you can take to stay healthy, please consult the Department of State information at, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website at, the U.S. Government pandemic influenza website at, and the World Health Organization website at For additional travel safety information, please consult the State Department’s website at

U.S. citizens may also call the Office of Overseas Citizens Services in the United States for the latest travel information. The Office of Overseas Citizens Services can be reached from 8:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, Monday through Friday, by calling 1-888-407-4747 from within the U.S. and Canada, or by calling (202) 501-4444 from other countries.

Americans living or traveling in Kuwait are encouraged to register with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate through the State Department’s travel registration website, so that they can obtain updated information on travel and security within Kuwait. Americans without Internet access may register directly with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. By registering, American citizens make it easier for the Embassy or Consulate to contact them in case of emergency. The U.S. Embassy is located on Masjed Al-Aqsa St, Bayan Area, telephone: 2259-1581, 2259-1583 or 2259-1248, Fax: 2259-1438, Email:

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May 4, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Timeless and Practical Advice

Oh! Today I needed a good laugh, and thanks to my good buddy, I had several. Here’s what she sent me that got me laughing:


1. Do not walk behind me, for I may not lead. Do not walk ahead of me, for I may not follow. Do not walk beside me either. Just pretty much leave me alone.

2. The journey of a thousand miles begins with a broken fan belt and leaky tire.

3. Its always darkest before dawn. So if you’re going to steal your neighbor’s newspaper, that’s the time to do it.

4. Don’t be irreplaceable. If you can’t be replaced, you can’t be promoted.

5. Always remember that you’re unique. Just like everyone else.

6. Never test the depth of the water with both feet.

7. If you think nobody cares if you’re alive, try missing a couple of car payments.

8.. Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you’re a mile away and you have their shoes.

9. If at first you don’t succeed, skydiving is probably not for you.

10. Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach him how to fish, and he will sit in a boat and drink beer all day.

11. If you lend someone $20 and never see that person again, it was probably a wise investment.

12. If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.

13. Some days you’re the bug; some days you’re the windshield.

14. Everyone seems normal until you get to know them.

15. The quickest way to double your money is to fold it in half and put it back in your pocket.

16. A closed mouth gathers no foot.

17. Duct tape is like ‘The Force.’ It has a light side and a dark side, and it holds the universe together.

18. There are two theories to arguing with women. Neither one works.

19. Generally speaking, you aren’t learning much when your lips are moving.

20. Experience is something you don’t get until just after you need it.

21. Never miss a good chance to shut up.

22. Never, under any circumstances, take a sleeping pill and a laxative on the same night.

May 4, 2009 Posted by | Friends & Friendship, Humor | 5 Comments

John Berendt and City of Falling Angels

When AdventureMan brought home City of Falling Angels for me, I thought it was another mystery by the author of the famous Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. I had loved that book, full of unforgettable characters living in Savannah, Georgia, so I was a little puzzled with the immediacy and real-life feeling of this new mystery when I started it.

It’s set in Venice. The main “character” observes – much like Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil – Venice, and its population. He arrives just after the horrendous fire that totally destroys La Fenice, the opera house, and we meet a wide variety of characters right off, experience the fire through their first hand experiences. We smell the smoke, we feel their horror as the fire grows, and spreads. We are depressed when the fireboats cannot quell the flames because the waters in the canal have been emptied, and are too low in the others.

I kept waiting for Commissario Guido Brunetti, Donna Leon’s Venetian detective, to show up.

I was about half way through the book when I realized – this wasn’t fiction. It was John Berendt living in Venice, meeting with and interviewing all these fabulously interesting people. Yeh, sometimes I am so SLOW!

But I was hooked. I kept reading. The mystery is how did the fire at La Fenice start, who started it and why. In the end – and believe me this is not a spoiler, because this book is really only peripherally about the fire at La Fenice – people are convicted, but you are never really sure these are the right people, or if, indeed, there was really a crime, or if the crime was negligence – but how can negligence be a crime if it is part of the culture?

One thing Berent says that Donna Leon also implies – don’t go to Venice during tourist season! Go when tourists are not there – after carnival, when it is cold, when it is raining. Stay in Venice, and walk, off the paths the tourists on their one-day-in-Venice travel. Visit the small markets, drop in for a coffee where the locals are drinking, but most of all – walk. And walk. and walk.

This is not an exciting book. It will not hold you on the edge of your seat like some horror thriller, turning pages because you are afraid to turn out the lights. The horrors in this book are the gossip, the strivings of various people to enter into Venetian society, the cut-throat competition for invitations, and who gets the prime seats at the opening night at La Fenice.

On the other hand, I loved his attention to detail, the ease with which Berendt got people to talk to him, the clarity with which he captures their personalities. I loved his description of the interiors, and how he uses the voices of others to paint in a detailed picture of Venice today. I loved being inside the Venetian community, and hearing their innermost thoughts. This was a book I looked forward to at the end of a long day, it took me to another – and fascinating – world. I just wish Commissario Brunetti had showed up. 🙂

May 4, 2009 Posted by | Books, Bureaucracy, Community, Cultural, Detective/Mystery, ExPat Life, Italy, NonFiction | 4 Comments

More Sleep, Fewer Colds

This is one of the weekly tips from Real Age. The problem I have with this tip is one of the reasons I knew I was coming down with something was that I was wide awake when I normally am sleeping. I had a virus recently, like a cold, but it started with being very not-sleepy. It was weird. Fortunately, I haven’t had it for long, and it seems to be moving on.

Are you like me? I was sneezing and coughing – and very worried I had caught the new swine flu. Why on earth would I think that???

That bug that’s going around? Until it’s moved to the next zip code, put yourself to bed early.

In a 2-week study, getting a little less sleep — under 7 hours instead of 8 or more — made people three times more likely to get sick after exposure to a cold virus. Now that’s something to sleep on.

Seems your immune system takes a hit from both lack of sleep and poor sleep. In fact, poor sleep may have an even bigger impact than short sleep. People in the study were five times more likely to get sick when their sleep quality dipped — even if it just dipped a smidge.

May 4, 2009 Posted by | Family Issues, Health Issues | 3 Comments